Pat's Market Wise Q&A: What Can Be Done About the Foreclosure on our Street?

Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: We have a foreclosure on our street, which has become a blight in this once quaint neighborhood. Needless to say, the agents handling this property are unresponsive and uncooperative. My husband is handling the 4-foot weeds and even picked up nine weekly newspapers from the front lawn. Why is he weeding the front yard of this eyesore? What can be done at this point?


A: The actions on the back end of this housing meltdown should be a cure, not tons of salt in the wound. Banks have actively decided that skeleton crews should handle the avalanche of negotiations they knew were and are coming down the pike. Incredibly, these overworked loss mitigators have chosen fewer than a third of 1 percent of the nation's Realtors to handle these distressed properties as listing agents. These overwhelmed agents are unable or unwilling to hold open houses or even return phone calls. Because of the agents' burden to pay the expense of these properties, many bank-appointed listing agents will forgo the rental of a sign post.

To think that bank lobbyists spent years seeking to enter the real estate brokerage business is scary. Now, in a time of crisis of their own making, the banks' supervision of "liquidating toxic assets" from their books is staggering in its ineptitude. Not just neighbors like you, but politicians, bankers and taxpayers have no idea of the financial disasters happening behind the scenes. The extremely small contingent of loss-mitigators and their listing agents let both offers and properties languish. Their response is recurring price reductions often in the tens of thousands. This unnecessary economic damage to our neighborhoods and economy is unforgivable.

If only the lenders would hand the million sidelined Realtors a listing or two a month, then you would see traditional servicing in spades. The wide-reaching results would not only be visual, but immediate and game changing.


Pat Kapowich,, owns Kapowich Real Estate in Sunnyvale. Send questions to